The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Pennsylvania Priest Scandal

Aug 20, 2018

For the first time ever in the U.S., a state-wide government investigation of the Catholic Church hierarchy was just completed in Pennsylvania. Two dioceses previously were looked at and now the remaining six dioceses have been investigated.

Survivors testified and mountains of church documents were reviewed. In the words of the grand jury report, “Individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability. Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.”

The church hierarchy—these so-called “Godly men”—acted only to protect the reputation of the church. Pedophile priests were put on “sick leave” but later moved around. At the new parish, the abuse of children continued. According to the detailed records kept by the church, 300 priests abused over 1,000 children.

The report contained a mountain of atrocities, including priests who gave their male victims special gold crosses to wear so that they could be recognized by other abusers!

The Pennsylvania grand jury report is the latest in a decades-long series of cover-ups by the Catholic Church that came to light both across the U.S. and around the world. Victims have organized together to speak out.

What is being exposed in the Catholic Church is not just a problem within the Catholic Church. It happens in other religions and in other institutions. In capitalist society, the sanctity of institutions and their authority figures is the top priority.

In all of these abuse cases, the survivors are brave to speak up, young and old. The most recent grand jury report showed how church leaders discouraged victims from reporting the abuse, which caused a delay in victims coming forward.

Abuse survivors and supporters in Pennsylvania have announced a campaign to begin in September. They will begin a fight to have the statute of limitations on criminal and civil cases extended, so that their cases can be tried.